Trustee Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellowship

Job Type

Full Time




60 Park Place
Suite 511
United States


The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is looking for a dedicated, intellectually creative, social and racial justice-minded, entrepreneurial team player to serve as our Trustee Social Justice Fellow to help powerfully advance our mission and innovative agenda.

The prestigious Trustee Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellowship provides an early-career lawyer with the unparalleled opportunity to spend a year as a staff attorney with the Institute. The ideal candidate for the Fellowship is a recent law school graduate, with two-three years of experience, who exhibits a deep and abiding commitment to fighting for justice and equality.

The Social Justice Fellow will work to advance social and racial justice on behalf of New Jersey’s urban communities at a critical time in our history, in the Institute’s three programmatic areas: (1) economic mobility; (2) criminal justice reform; and (3) civic engagement.

The Fellow will spend half of her or his time devoted to the Criminal Justice pillar, and the remaining time working on the Institute’s Economic Mobility and Civic Engagement pillars, with a particular focus on how they intersect with criminal justice issues, such as reentry, voting rights restoration, and employment opportunities. The Fellow will help advance the Institute's mission to transform New Jersey’s criminal justice systems, for adults and children, and to reimagine policing. The Fellow will build on the Institute’s work to empower stronger, safer neighborhoods through facilitated community forums and trainings with law enforcement. 

The Social Justice Fellow will help develop public policy, legal, and advocacy strategies, and public education campaigns, in addition to helping convene community meetings and participating in conferences. Through this work, the Fellow will cultivate relationships with leading community leaders, lawyers, government officials, academics, and organizing/advocacy experts.


Using a holistic approach to address the unique and critical issues facing New Jersey’s urban communities, the Institute advocates for systemic reform that is at once transformative, achievable in the state, and replicable in communities across the nation. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with Institute attorneys in supporting and developing proposals for legislation, regulations, and policy initiatives regarding criminal and juvenile justice reform, and civic engagement and economic mobility, as they intersect with criminal justice issues.
  • Research and draft policy analysis, position papers, reports, legal memoranda, letters, testimony, and advocacy materials pertaining to legislation, proposed administrative rules and regulations, and government policies and practices affecting the Institute’s criminal justice programming priorities.
  • Research and draft op-eds, online articles, and opinion pieces.
  • Attend coalition meetings and symposia and participate in in-depth briefings pertaining to Institute priority issues.
  • Engage in public speaking, including with the media and at conferences for expert and lay audiences.
  • Work in collaboration with Institute attorneys and staff, coalition members, and community partners on issue-based campaigns.
  • Help organize policy roundtables and convenings exploring criminal justice issues. 
  • Work with Institute attorneys to develop and incubate policy and advocacy initiatives as prototypes.
  • Coordinate with campaign/outreach staff to ensure seamless integration of policy research with community outreach efforts.
  • Work with partner organizations and individuals to advance the Institute’s mission, engage on shared priorities, and exchange knowledge and information in support of the Institute’s programs and initiatives.
  • Assist with the integration of litigation, legislative initiatives, policy goals, public education, and targeted campaigns.


  • Law degree, preferably a clerkship or two-three years of experience as a practicing attorney.
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse coalitions and community groups, and to work across political ideology, race, ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and religion.
  • Passion for, and knowledge of, racial and social justice, and a familiarity with the work and mission of the Institute.
  • Strong analytic capabilities and an ability to provide constitutional analysis of legislative and administrative policy.
  • Outstanding legal research, writing, and oral communication skills; superior attention to detail; ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously; good problem-solving skills and a positive, professional attitude with excellent judgment, flexibility, determination, and grace in a fast-paced office.
  • Integrity, honesty, and a balanced, non-partisan approach.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative context and participate in teams, including a willingness to circulate widely, communicate openly, listen well, and learn from others.
  • Excellent judgment and follow through.
  • Ability to think creatively and develop new and innovative litigation, policy, and advocacy strategies.

About the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice:

The Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

The Institute’s mission is to empower urban residents to realize and achieve their full potential. Established in 1999 by Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein, the Institute’s dynamic and independent advocacy is aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant, and healthy urban communities. We employ a broad range of advocacy tools to advance our ambitious urban agenda, including research, analysis and writing, public education, grassroots organizing, communications, the development of pilot programs, legislative strategies, and litigation. 


This is a full-time, at-will position. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes excellent benefits, including health, a 401(k) plan with an employer contribution, and generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be accepted until the position is filled. Please email your cover letter, law school transcripts, resume, two professional writing samples (including at least one legal writing sample) on which you are the primary author, and three professional references to Please submit your application materials via Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. Include all attachments in a single email stating, in the subject line, “Trustee Social Justice Fellow.”